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In today’s world, it is safer for the movie business to create a sequel than to attempt an original idea. Why risk making something that people won’t like when you could just recycle something that you know they do? If you ask me, it’s created a very predictable (and underwhelming) movie-going experience over the past decade or so.

A major exception to this trend is director Christopher Nolan. I remember going to the movies in 2010 to see Inception and just being blown away. I had never seen anything like it before. It was imaginative, daring, challenging, and absolutely mesmerizing. It was the sort of movie that reminded you why you went to the theatre in the first place: to be awe-inspired. I remember driving home that day thinking, “Now that’s a movie that gives me faith in the movie industry again.”

Over the past 11 years, Nolan has continued to blow viewers away with over-the-top spectacles and stories that melt your brain with complexity, and for the most part they have been worth their enormous budgets. I never leave thinking, “Well that was pretty predictable” or “yeah, seen that done before.” Everything is original. Everything pushes the limits of cinema in ways you couldn’t even have imagined.

It’s with that that Fr. Tito and I approached his newest movie, Tenet. Basically, with high expectations. No one makes a movie quite like Nolan. In many ways, we were not disappointed: it was the most “Nolan” movie we had ever seen, complete with some of Nolan’s biggest flaws on display.

well that was a disaster

Last week, I posted a video that I was very proud of. I had thought about it for a little over a month, tested out the concept on a Twitter thread, and took my time writing it. It was something I felt very passionate about and felt that many people needed to hear.

The response I got was disappointing, to say the least.

As has happened to me on a few occasions, people latched on to the framing device of the video and not the point of the video itself. Ire welled up over the title and thumbnail, so much so that the whole reason for making the video was lost on many people (and ironically, the point I set out to make was manifested.)

Despite being very popular, I would consider Thursday’s video a disaster. And I hope we can all learn from it.

Abortion is not THAT important

Yes. The title is provocative. I know. Don’t judge something simply by its name.

The content of this week’s video isn’t the least bit controversial. At least it shouldn’t be. It boils down to this: the ends don’t justify the means. No matter what we do, no matter how important we might think it is, there is never an excuse to compromise our lives as disciples. First and foremost, we are called to the Ten Commandments; we are required to live the beatitudes; we are meant to be humble, loving followers of Christ.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, there are many people who get so enflamed by an issue that they believe anything is allowed to stop it. This issue is that important.

It’s not. It never is.

You can (and should) oppose racism, but not by publicly shaming white politicians and attacking their families.

You can (and should) oppose the death penalty, but not by sending death threats to judges.

You can (and should) oppose abortions, but not by spreading vitriol online against those who disagree.

Today, as people march in their local communities, I have a simple message: no issue, not even abortion, is more important than living as a follower of Christ. If your opposition to abortion causes you to hate another, break the commandments, or be anything other than a humble follower of the beatitudes, you might need to take a step back. Nothing is that important that you would forfeit your place at the table, that you would act in a way that disgusts Jesus, to get something done.

Fighting for justice is something that we must do in our world, but please, do so as a Christian.

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If you grew up watching The Goonies like Fr. Tito did, it has a special place in your heart. It’s a childhood adventure of going out on your own, finding buried treasure, and saving your family’s livelihood. There is excitement and intrigue, camaraderie, and even a little teenage romance. For a preteen in the 1980s, it was the ultimate film.

If you didn’t see the movie until you were in your late teens and it’s already the early 2000s… the feeling might be a bit different. That was my experience of the movie, and while I don’t “hate” it–it’s still a well-made movie and, at times, very charming, I just don’t have the love for it that the cult following would expect.

It is that disparity that Fr. Tito and I set out to discuss in this week’s Everyday Liminality. Is is nostalgia? Is it that certain things age differently than others? Is it that you have to be a certain age to appreciate something? Most likely a bit of it all.

Can Church Doctrine Ever Change?

There is this idea in many Catholic circles that “the holy teaching of Mother Church has always taught what it does and it will never change.” It is this idea that angers people when they encounter the Second Vatican Council, Popes John Paul II and Francis’ approach to the death penalty, or any adjustment to the public expression of faith.


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While there is definitely a sense of continuity in the teaching of the Church, that teachings are not dependent on the culture of the world but rather come from God and so are firmly rooted in Scripture and Tradition, the idea that the teaching of the Church never changes is simply not true. It changes in at least three ways.

  1. Teachings that are not explicitly explained in Scripture can develop into dogmas after many centuries of prayer and reflection.
  2. Dogmas can develop and be articulated in different ways over time.
  3. Doctrines and disciplines of the Church can change direction completely.

Before watching this video, it might be helpful to brush up on the different levels of the Church’s teaching authority, found in the video below, as this is critically important to the distinctions I make in today’s video.